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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: How do you interpret the events of the "War Games" ? rss

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Sam Carroll
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The deal with Wargames is that it ends the game immediately. So if you have at least 7 VPs, you can play it and win. If you have 6, the marker moves down to 0 and it ends in a draw; if you have less than 6, the marker will be on your opponent's side, so you would lose by playing the card.
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Ecosmith Ecosmith
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Firstly, the card is not called 'War Games'. It's called 'Wargames', with no space. This to me, coupled with the quote from Joshua, the NORAD supercomputer who learns the futility of embarking on a global thermonuclear war in the movie, clearly says that the card is meant to simulate the actions depicted in the movie somehow, rather than depict 'war games' as thT term is commonly known. This is how Wargames thematically happens in my TS games:

A cheeky young high-school computer nerd accidentally hacks into either the NORAD computer network or the Soviet equivalent, and activates a computer simulation of a nuclear launch from the opposing side. The computer decides that the best course of action is to pre-emptively launch an all out attack, but luckily, the young hacker is able to show the computer that there can be no real 'winner' in such a scenario by making it play tic-tac-toe repeatedly at super-high speed, and then getting it to apply its conclusions to multiple high-speed simulations of various total nuclear exchange scenarios. Just in time, it realises that 'the only sure way to win is not to play', and everybody relaxes. There is no nuclear war, but the side with the supercomputer has no nuclear deterrent any more because the computer won't fire due to ideological reasons. That side wins for the same reason that they win if their opponent drops Defcon to 1: its an ideological victory.

Eco
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Ecosmith Ecosmith
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Duxa wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
I think we'll just agree to disagree! To me, if it's a tie, it's a tie -- no one is better. Otherwise, someone won the game.


Yeah I was more curious about how people thematically interpreted the card rather than changing rules. Because when our game ended thematically we werent sure what "caused" the end... was it a war, a nuclear exchange or US giving up. And based on the fact that there is no scoring phase and that both sides take a hit (one loses and other takes VP hit) it seems like it was something that hurt both... so we settled on nuclear exchange.


It's patently referencing the movie, you should watch it for an idea of what it's saying. Likewise, Dr Strangelove and the 'How I learned To Stop Worrying' card

Eco
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Ioan Mitiu
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Strongly disagree- "most" would say Cold War ended 1989-1991 with a decisive US victory in which the Russians lost their East European sphere of influence and the USSR itself ceased to exist.


I fully agree on this opinion - and don't forget that Communism as ideology was dismissed, which is actually the definition of a complete victory ( also Germany didn't stop to exist as a country after Nazism was eliminated ) !

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Thematically that is... does that mean it doesnt matter? The world ended in a nuclear catastrophy and there are a few survivors left to rebuild the civilization on the Winner's side (in this case USSR)?


I'm a little bit puzzled by such complicated/apocalyptic way in which people try to interpret this card - my personal interpretation ( and which I always use during game-explanation ) is something like this : a major crisis occur - represented by DEFCON level at 2 - and as a result the elite of a superpower is forced either to respond via (a) full-scale war or (b) to evaluate the situation and, eventually, to admit defeat ( at least in ideological way ).
As long as (a) will involve also ( massive ) usage of thermonuclear warhead ... they choose (b), eventually trying to negotiate a better personal terms for the day after officially denouncing communism(/capitalism) ... and basically this was what happened during 1990-1991 in Soviet Union.

The alternate scenario could be the one in which capitalism in US/Western World fails to exit the stagflation crisis of late '70, soviet/leftist influence prevented access to a lot of cheap raw materials, foreign markets and so on, internal social and political turmoil will increase so ... around year 1990 United Socialist States of America is proclaimed ...

BTW - this is one reason from which I'd say that the game may lack a good part of historical flavor of '80 ( miss real events like consumerism, ecological movements or alternate one like dollar-hyperinflation and so on gulp ). But ... this may be provided by a further expansion, isn't it ? whistle
 
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